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Public Library Board Certification and Continuing Education

The Public Library Board Certification program is designed to:

  • Improve board effectiveness
  • Increase board involvement
  • Improve library service
  • Fulfill library accreditation requirements

Each Nebraska public library board of trustees must participate, collectively, in twenty hours of continuing education (CE) during each three-year certification period.

Library board members can earn CE credits in any of the ways listed on this page. Report CE participation within ninety days of the event or activity. There is no cost for certification.

To review certification status - Nebraska Public Library Board Certification Status

To submit CE activity - Public Library Board Report of CE Activity

To apply for certification or update board members - Public Library Board Certification and Board Member Updates

Continuing Education Activities for Boards

CE Activities
(online or in-person)
CE Credits Notes Requirements
  • 20-44 minutes = 0.5
  • 45-89 minutes = 1.0
  • Submit CE Form
  • List individual sessions for conferences and workshops separately.
Trustee Academy Courses
  • Each course = 1.0
  • Please see below about login information.
Short Takes for Trustees

For each board member present during meeting:

  • Each video = 0.25
  • Discussion = 0.25

Trustee Academy

Trustee Academy

The Trustee Academy comprises a set of webinars from the American Library Association's United for Libraries (formerly known as ALTAFF).

Admission to the Trustee Academy courses has been prepaid by the Nebraska Library Commission for Nebraska Library Trustees and Directors. To request an account, please submit a United for Libraries Login Request form. If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan.

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Trustee Academy Courses

Trustee Competencies
This course covers the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attributes of a successful public library Trustee. The course is led by Kevin Tomlinson, area field consultant with the Idaho Commission for Libraries.
Working Effectively with the Library Director
This course covers the role of the Board, the role of the library director, and how to communicate effectively with each other. Learn about strategic planning, board meetings, an emergency communication plan, and how to create a sustainable and effective working relationship. This course is led by Deirdre Brennan, Executive Director, of Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).
The Library's Budget for Trustees
This course covers understanding where funding comes from, working with the director to develop the budget, ensuring the budget is in alignment with goals, making the case for the budget to funders, making effective budget presentations, and monitoring the budget at monthly meetings. This course is led by Marcellus Turner, City Librarian, The Seattle Public Library.
Standing Up for Intellectual Freedom
This course covers intellectual freedom, the core value of librarianship, the difference between a challenge and a ban, library policy and the process of reconsideration, the purpose of the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, and resources and services offered by the Office for Intellectual Freedom. This course is led by James (Jamie) LaRue, Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.
Everyday Advocacy - Why the Library Matters!
This course covers getting to know your funders and letting them know what the library is doing and importantly – why it matters. Learn how to be a powerful voice at budget time to ensure your library receives the funding it needs. This course is led by Libby Post, Strategist-in-Chief and President of Communication Services.

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Short Takes for Trustees

Short Takes
Admission to the Trustee Academy courses has been prepaid by the Nebraska Library Commission for Nebraska Library Trustees and Directors. To request an account, please submit a United for Libraries Login Request form. If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan.

These ten videos, also from United for Libraries, are intended for continuing education at board meetings. Each program is about ten minutes long. View the video and discuss the related Short Takes questions for fifteen minutes.

  • What It Means to Be a Trustee
  • Board Meetings
  • Board Ethics
  • Library Advocacy
  • Library Policies
  • Strategic Planning
  • Working with Friends
  • Evaluating the Library Director
  • Board Self Evaluation
  • Succession Planning and New Board Orientation

Login with the Nebraska username and password you have been given or contact Holli Duggan for your username and password.

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Short Web-based Video Series

Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries: “Getting On Board"
(0.25 CE credits each)

Board Basics
Hiring and Managing Relationships
Planning and Meetings
PR and Marketing
Advocacy and Money Matters

Wyoming State Library: “Trustee Trouble"
(0.25 CE credits each)

Board Director Relationships
Friends/Foundation Relationship
Evaluating the Library Board
Board Responsibilities

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Nebraska Library Commission Trustee Training

Trustee Tips (2009)
An NCompass Live session presented by Richard Miller (45:00)

United for Libraries - Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations: The Voice for America's Libraries (2020)
NCompass Live session with Beth Nawalinski, Executive Director of United for Libraries, Peter Pearson, 2019-2020 United for Libraries President, and Laura England-Biggs, Keene Memorial Library

Public Librarian and Library Board Certification: Improving Library Service to Nebraska Communities (2021)
NCompass Live session with Christa Porter and Holli Duggan to discuss how these programs work, the benefit to library staff and board members, and why they are important to your library.


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United for Libraries Training

The Nebraska Library Commission has prepaid for all Nebraska public library directors, members of Friends organizations, Foundation boards, and trustees to access educational resources offered by the American Library Association's United for Libraries. To request an account, please submit a United for Libraries Login Request form. If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan.

Broadening the Scope of Small/Mid-Sized Library Foundations (2015)
"To learn more about how working with a library foundation can benefit your library, listen to this webinar featuring Paula Beswick, director of the Bozeman (Mont.) Library Foundation."

Library Advocacy at the State Level: 12 Steps to Success (2013)
"Jeffrey Smith, director of public affairs for Humanim and president of the Foundation for Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library (BCPL) shares the basics of government/legislative advocacy and 12 steps necessary to be an effective advocate for library issues when meeting with key decision makers. Additionally, a case study in successful advocacy for library related funding is presented."

Working Effectively with Your Library Trustees (2013)
"Led by United for Libraries Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed, learn tips and strategies for working effectively with your Trustees. Topics include orientation for new Trustees, understanding roles, meetings, emergencies, and effective communication."

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Webinars from the Free Webinars list may be viewed at broadcast time, or most of them are archived and available after the initial broadcast.  Webinars are generally about an hour long.

*Discussion of webinars will not be accepted for additional CE credit. The Short Takes for Trustees videos are the only exceptions.

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How do I submit an activity or an event for CE credit?

Submit a CE Activity Report. Please allow ten business days for credit to be reflected on the online record. To review your library board's record, go to Nebraska Public Library Board Certification Status. Participation in any CE activity must be reported within 90 days.

Not all activities are eligible for CE credit. If you aren't sure whether an activity or event would qualify, please contact Holli Duggan, in advance.

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How do I check the status of my library board?

To review your library board's record, check the Nebraska Public Library Board Certification Status page. Click on your library's name for details on the library board's current CE hours.

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What counts as a continuing education activity?

Activities must meet the following guidelines:

  • Organized and planned for the purpose of teaching, learning, or discussion of topics directly related to the duties and responsibilities of a library board member
  • Sponsored by a reputable agency, organization, or institution
  • At least twenty minutes long (exception for the United for Libraries' Short Takes for Trustees videos)
  • Activities may be in-person with the instructor/speaker, via real-time remote means, or watched as a recorded webinar/video/podcast

Not all activities are eligible for CE credit. If you aren't sure whether an activity or event would qualify, please contact Holli Duggan, in advance.

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Can I earn CE credit for discussing webinars or videos?

CE credit for discussion can only be earned after viewing one of the Short Takes for Trustees videos and discussing the related Short Takes discussion questions during a board meeting. Each board member present will earn 0.25 CE credits per video and an additional 0.25 CE credits for fifteen minutes of discussion time.

Discussion of other webinars or events will not count for CE credit.

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What activities are not eligible for CE credit for Library Board Members?

  • Staff, business, committee, planning, or advisory meetings
  • "Secondhand" presentations - presenting or listening to someonepresent on what they learned at a conference or training
  • Social or networking events
  • Book discussions, book club meetings, book fairs, or book studies
  • Tours of other libraries or museums (including exhibits or special displays, unless approved)
  • Training and orientation of volunteers, new staff, or a new position
  • Updating or reading current policies, internal manuals, documents, emails, or guides
  • Routine professional association activities
  • Routine job-related activities
  • General library programming, such as volunteering for storytimes, teaching a community computer class, or supervising afterschool clubs
  • General work-related training topics, such as stress reduction or retirement planning
  • Training topics not related to duties as a library board member (such as classroom management or using Google)
  • Partial completion of courses or webinars
  • Training on regular library operations, procedures, or general office equipment (including ILS training)
  • Time spent traveling to or from an event
  • Reviewing or discussing the Library Board Manual or Director's Handbook

If you have questions as to whether or not something is eligible for CE credit, please contact Holli Duggan or Mary Geibel.

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For more information, contact Holli Duggan.